January 27, 2017 | Community News
Two treadmills that have been run into the ground by hundreds of members of an independent County Durham community gym have been replaced thanks to a five-figure grant from a regional employer.
Pelton Community Centre had been looking for ways to replace the two well-used machines, which were purchased along with a range of other reconditioned fitness equipment when the gym opened in 2012, and which had started to become increasingly unreliable.
After the Pelton Community Association, the charity which runs the Centre, approached Durham-headquartered property, mining and renewable energy firm the Banks Group for support, a £10,214 grant from the Banks Community Fund has allowed for two modern new treadmills to be brought in.
And the Community Association is hoping the new machines will encourage more people to get themselves into the gym.
The Front Street building plays host to around 50 different activities and groups every week, all of which are provided either at low or no cost to users, and sees at least 1,800 people coming through its doors every week.
The community gym is open six days a week and has around 1,400 members, with fees kept as low as possible to encourage the maximum number of local people to take advantage of the health, fitness and well-being opportunities it provides.
Hyleen Wood of Pelton Community Association says: “The gym was set up to offer an affordable fitness facility in an area where private gym costs would be beyond the reach of many local people, and we installed a range of reconditioned equipment when we opened which has proved very popular.
“The gym has three treadmills, all of which are constantly in use by everyone from older members who walk at a controlled gentle pace through to serious runners who are wanting to escape the winter weather.
“The two treadmills we’ve replaced have been starting to show their age in the last couple of years, and regularly having to take one or both of them out of service for repairs has been frustrating for members who are unable to carry out their planned exercise activities.
“We try to keep our costs as low as possible, so that we remain accessible to anyone wanting to get a bit fitter and healthier, and the cost of bringing in new treadmills like these was way beyond our means and we were simply expecting to keep using the old ones until they broke down completely.
“The response we’ve had from members has been terrific – they love how the new reliable machines are always available to use, and we’re hopeful that this generous funding from the Banks Group will see more local people coming along to see how we can help them become a bit fitter and healthier.”
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at the Banks Group, adds: “The Pelton community gym makes a big impact on the health and well-being of hundreds of local people, and as a local County Durham business, we’re very happy to be supporting the invaluable service it provides.”
The Banks Community Fund is administered by the County Durham Community Foundation and provides grants for community groups and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of Banks Group projects.
Anyone interested in applying for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342 to check if their group or project is eligible.